Folarin Balogun has seemingly received his promotion to the first-team squad with Arsenal, wearing a new senior number in training.

Folarin Balogun (2R) in training with Arsenal (Photo via
Folarin Balogun (2R) in training with Arsenal (Photo via

Various photos of Folarin Balogun in pre-season training with Arsenal in Edinburgh show him wearing the number 26 on his top and shorts. This change would be confirmation of his promotion to the first-team squad, as that’s a first-team number.

As a slight note of caution, some players have been wearing the wrong numbers in training so far. James Hillson, for example, has been wearing the number 32 in Edinburgh, when he’s actually number 50. Tom Smith has been wearing number four, and so on.

We’ll only know for sure that Balogun has changed his number if and when he steps out onto the pitch wearing it. But 26 is free for him to take, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he did.

Balogun certainly should be promoted to the first team after extending his contract. Like Arthur Okonkwo, who recently had his promotion confirmed, he’s been one of the standout u23s and has committed his future. Promotion would be a fair reward.